OR.NET Flagship Project Presented in Berlin

Operating room Copyright: © Peter Winandy

OR.NET, the flagship project funded by the BMBF, will be represented at this year's conhIT from April 14 to 16, 2015, in Berlin. The fair is the industry event for information technology in the healthcare sector and is a top-class communication platform.


The project OR.NET is an interdisciplinary consortium made up of 50 project partners and 20 associated partners, among which include scientific institutions, clinical users, and manufacturers of medical devices and equipment. The goal of the research association is secure and dynamic interlinkage of medical devices in the operating room and hospital. The entire budget is approximately 18.5 million Euros, whereby 15 million Euros are federal funding. Professor Dr.-Ing. Klaus Radermacher, head of the Chair of Medical Technology at the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Technology at RWTH Aachen, is coordinator of the flagship project.

Shift to Standardized Systems

Integration and networking of medical IT have been a major topic in recent years – medical practitioners aim at a stronger interlinkage, improved embedding and communication of the utilized devices and components. Here, the goal is a to achieve a shift away from stand-alone solutions towards standardized, interlinked systems. Currently, complementary use of and communication between state-of-the-art medical devices is possible only to a limited extent: what is missing are common standards for data exchange and for the interconnection between medical devices, both among themselves and with the IT infrastructure.

Furthermore, there is a risk in the simultaneous use of medical devices whose complementariness has not been secured. Institutions using interconnected medical devices are responsible for their correct functioning, also when they are connected to IT networks. Herein lies another problem: due to weak protection against malware, medical products may pose a great risk for IT networks.

In order to make it possible for operators and users to be flexible I their choice of medical devices, standardization is key to the integration of devices and medical IT systems. OR.NET seeks to develop the central mechanisms required for a secure and dynamic integration and interconnection of medical systems and devices.

Computer-Supported Surgery

Currently, led by the Chair of Medical Engineering , a partial demonstrator for minimally invasive computer-supported surgery of the spine is being developed in Aachen. Collaborative partners in this project include the RWTH Chair of Medical Information Technology (medIT); University Hospital Aachen’s departments of neurosurgery, anesthesiology, and orthopedics; as well as several partners from industry.

The OR.NET consortium presents its research activities for the safe and efficient operating rooms of the future at conhIT, Hall 4.2, booth C-105.

Source: Press and Public Relations

Photo Caption

RWTH offers a look into the future - secure and simple equipment use in an integrated and open operating room of the future.